Background: We demonstrated that serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) from patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), interacting with the second extracellular loop of human glandular M(3) muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (M(3) mAChR), trigger the production of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)).
Methods: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were performed in the presence of M(3) mAChR synthetic peptide as antigen to detect in serum the autoantibodies. Further, MMP-3 and PGE(2) production were determined in the presence of anti-M(3) mAChR autoantibodies.
Results: An association was observed between serum and anti-M(3) mAChR autoantibodies and serum levels of MMP-3 and PGE(2) in pSS patients. Thus, we established that serum anti-M(3) mAChR autoantibodies, MMP-3 and PGE(2) may be considered to be early markers of pSS associated with inflammation. Affinity-purified anti-M(3) mAChR peptide IgG from pSS patients, whilst stimulating salivary-gland M(3) mAChR, causes an increase in the level of MMP-3 and PGE(2) as a result of the activation of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (but not COX-1).
Conclusions: These results provide a novel insight into the role that cholinoceptor antibodies play in the development of glandular inflammation. This is the first report showing that an antibody interacting with glandular mAChR can induce the production of pro-inflammatory mediators (MMP-3/PGE(2)).
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